The spring of 1989 was a period of birth for me: It was the first time I ever played a gig at a club with a PA of its own. The place was Time Out of Mind in South Phoenix. Not the most reputable club, as some of you may recall, but a place that I got my first experience working with a gigging musician's best friend or worst enemy: The Sound Man.
If I remember correctly, the sound guy's name was Gary. I was very intimidated by him, but I tried to play it cool and act like I knew what I was doing when he asked me to check the mics. There were monitors on stage, and when he asked me if I could hear everything I needed to hear, I said, "Sure," I think, and we played, and that was that.
I have no recollection of how it sounded on stage -- other than loud -- and afterward, I gave Gary some of our beer, and he seemed happy. Lesson learned, I suppose, in that tipping the sound person, even if it is just Bud in a can, is still better than pissing them off. We talked to some of the best sound guys in town to learn about their favorite shows, pet peeves, and more. More »